Monday, December 29, 2008

Oh my heart...and my mind....

As I sit in the dark room, with only the light of my laptop to allow me to see enough to type, I begin to think more and more about becoming a Mom, again. It's in these wee hours of the morning (and sometimes night), when I have the time and energy to fully feel and dream and wonder and ponder. I am not scared of the labor, and being pregnant for me is an absolute pain, but completely tolerable. It is the feeling of failure. The failure that seems so matter-of-fact, like everyone must feel this. But for me, it seems more real than anything else. And it's not the little things, like how to dress a girl, or do her hair, or make her look cutesy. And it's got nothing to do with the fact that I feel as though I can mother a boy much better. It's actually got nothing to do with gender or materialistic issues at all. It's got to do with the fact that right now, I feel like I do it all.
I feel like I give 150% of myself, and still isn't quite good enough. I struggle through the every day tasks of being a part-time-work-out-of-the-house mom (which i hate) who doesn't get to spend enough time with her child and husband. I know I am only gone a few days a week, and maybe, even if I didn't work, it wouldn't really matter, because I would still always be preoccupied. There is always something to be done, so I feel stretched thin, where even though I am giving it my all, I am not giving my all in all the right places. Yes, I try to keep up on the house, with the laundry and the dishes and the cleaning, but I also try to keep up at my job, where I am always feeling that deep guilt in my gut, about not being at home with my boy. And then...I'm pregnant, and maybe that's where this all is coming from, the hormones and mood swings and grumpiness because I am so DARN uncomfortable that I just want to scream and cry, or BOTH.
And then I begin to think that I am nearly 31 weeks pregnant, ohmygoodness! She could be here in like a month...well, hopefully not...i mean, she could be here ANYTIME, but hopefully she waits it out long enough for all to go well. But nothing is done! Her room isn't ready (I mean, really I know she will never be in there anyways, but still..the fact that her room is in udder shambles scares me). I have only a handful of clothing for her, for two reasons. One, I can't seem to commit to buying anything, because I know I went overboard with Jonah and had WAY TOO MUCH at first, so I fear I will waste $$ on unnecessary things or things she will outgrow before I even get a chance to have her wear it. And two, it's not like the finances are overflowing here, so with what little money we've got, I am fearful of spending it on some cute outfit, when there are far more important things it needs to go towards. And I know I am not the only one feeling the economic crunch, we all are, and it sucks. The great thing is, I'm not picky...and not too much of a girly girl, so the basics are really all we need, and I am sure, somewhere down the road, be it Wal-Mart or the Goodwill, we will be able to find things that Lily will put to good use.
And while on the subject of Lily, I can't stop fretting over breastfeeding. I mean i REALLY want to do it, I mean REALLY. I can't stop thinking about it. But I of course have my fears. I fear that I won't produce enough, but from what I hear, that won't be a problem. Secondly, I need to work, it's a given. So how how will breastfeeding and having to work a part time job correlate? I know, I know...I will have to pump. But that poses another problem, because I don't have a pump, nor can we really afford one. And will she take the bottle? And when she takes the bottle, will she then refuse the breast? And am I prepared to be the sole provider of nourishment and comfort for her? You see, I have a pretty good hubby who is very helpful and who i know is going to feel very left out if/when I breastfeed Lily. And I am the kind of mama that sometimes needs a break, away from kids, and life, and stresses. But I know by breastfeeding, alone time isn't readily available. Am I prepared for something like that?
And how will Jonah feel? My gosh, this is the worst part...will he feel left out? I mean, he has been the center of our universe for nearly 2 years is he going to feel when he is going to be forced to share that spotlight with a baby sister? My heart aches something fierce just thinking about how he is going to feel. And I feel torn in two directions. I feel selfish for putting Jonah first, I mean what kind of a mama am I to think of one child over the other? I'm sure things will be different after she is born, but I see his eyes, and I can't help but wonder how he will feel. Will he hate me? Will I lose that special bond that I have with him. I love him more than he will ever know, I love him in a way I never knew possible, I love him more than I can even imagine.
So here I sit, in the darkness of the morning, allowing mt mind to wander...waiting for the moment my little boy awakens, so I can be engulfed in a feeling other than guilt, and fear, and anxiety. My day will be filled with laughter and Barney and bubbles and coloring, some of my favorite things. And maybe, just for today, or tomorrow...I will ignore that pile of laundry, and spend those moments I would spend folding and hanging up and putting away instead being engulfed by HIM, my little guy. Because in the not so distant future, it won't be just me and him, and I don't want to miss out on this time, I want to be right in the moment, right now. The laundry can wait, however, he cannot, and should not. It's these little things that make up life, not the clean clothes or shiny floors or sparkling toilets, it's his smiles and laughs and giggles and hugs and kisses. That's what it's all about...that's what it's all about.


jenscloset said...

I hate to say this to you, because when my kids were little and sometimes driving me crazy..and people would say "oh they grow up so quick"...I would think, yeah, right! Now my oldest is 25 (my daughter and best friend), my son Mark is 17 and my daughter Katherine is 15. They're all wonderful people and I know I'm lucky! I went through all the highs and lows of parenthood too! Also, I did breastfeed all three of my kids, but my last one, Katherine, I probably only breastfed for about 6-8 weeks, and she could also take formula when I wasn't there. I do think it's the best start for babies, but that's a personal issue for you to decide. Okay-I could go on and on because being a Mom is the best job in the world. It's the toughest, lonliest (sometimes), frustrating, etc. job...but then, also the most rewarding. I wish you the best..let the laundry go, your son will remember you reading to him, he will not remember that you had all the laundry done.

Erin said...

Oh, the mommy guilt. I have it too! I work full-time out of the home, and it just kills me. I know there's no other way, but I still feel awful. That said, I managed to continue pumping enough to breastfeed exclusively for a year. You CAN do this. I know you said that you can't afford a pump, but what about talking to your OB about pump rentals? Or the hospital where you're giving birth? Another option is to borrow a pump from someone you know and trust. My pump is a $250 Medela pump that I borrowed from my sister. I know she's disease free, so I just bought new flanges and tubes.
You will and can find a balance. In terms of your husband helping out, mine made himself useful by bringing me water and food when I was nursing, then as soon as I was finished, I'd pass Luke off for him to burp. That way, he was still a part of the feeding process.

I feel like I'm rambling, but if you need to talk about these things, just email me. Especially the working and pumping issues, because I have so been there!

Leigh (Modern Mommy) said...

I understand what you're feeling completely. When I was pregnant with my now 9-mo-old son I was on bedrest for 10 weeks. Talk about baby-taking-over your life. And my DD didn't understand. I'm sure that once Lily is born you have an adjustment period (like the one I'm still in at times) and then the kids will find a place in the craziness of your life and you'll just hum along with them. I still struggle and I'm a full time SAHM because it's hard to find time to still be YOU and not just MOMMY. But we all know it's worth it, and my 3yo DD is asking for ANOTHER baby brother (the answer is NO!) so obviously she survived the transition from only child to sibling.

It's a Beautiful Ride said...

I have my own guilt issues and mine are 6, 11, & 15.

I feel like they grow soooo fast!

I work as well, and while I am self employed and can make my own hours, it's during winter breaks and summer vacation that I feel it most.

I always reiterate that I have to work and sometimes there are sacrifices.

In turn, I make sure that when I am home and not slaving to the stove or laundry, that I am present.

And attentive with each child.

You'll get there.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry too much about Jonah. He's small enough that after a few weeks of her being here he won't even remember her not being here. Stop stressing yourself out girl!!